First read this: The Passage to Panamá: Part One
When we walked up to the deck after waking up on Day 3 of our cruise, this is the view that greeted us:
We had reached the Comarca Kuna Yala, otherwise known as the Islas San Blas, a pristine chain of paradisaical islands off the Caribbean coast of Panamá. Most islands are totally uninhabited, but those that are are occupied by the Kuna people. The indigenous Kuna have managed to maintain their culture and independence despite over 500 years of outside influence. Their islands are technically part of Panamá but the group maintains a mostly autonomous government.
And their islands are literally PARADISE. For the next two days, I felt like I was living inside a postcard! Fritz cruised us around to several different islands where we lounged on white sand beaches, saw starfish bigger than dinner plates (sadly we didn’t get a picture of one), snorkeled over diverse coral reefs, and caught glimpses of Kuna life.
This is basically what the last two days of the voyage on Fritz the Cat consisted of: snorkeling, lounging, and taking in the beauty! Watching the sun set and the stars come out each night as the anchored boat smoothly bobbed in the ocean was a surreal experience. We also enjoyed lots of fresh seafood bought from the Kuna who would drive up to Fritz the Cat in canoes. On the fourth day, as we were eating lunch, Zach glimpsed a flash of silver in the sunlight. A dolphin! It ended up being three dolphins who swam along side us for several minutes!!! Watching them dart and jump alongside the sailboat was, I think, the most magical experience of our entire trip. The rare privilege of visiting the Islas San Blas was definitely what made the whole Colombia-to-Panamá voyage spectacular.